Several years ago, I bought a crabapple tree in late September. We planted it in the front yard, and I started watering until the ground froze, just like the nursery had told me. All winter long I wondered if the tree would survive the cold and bud out in the spring. I was so happy that it did; the leaves budded out, and we had little flowers of pink everyplace. It was just lovely. The tree has grown over the years and has been a home for robins in the summer and food for birds in the winter. We have enjoyed the tree very much since we planted it.
Each of us has been planted by God, as we are watered by worshiping together, serving others, reading the Bible and more, we become rooted and grounded so that we can bear fruit. In worship, we are strengthened, encouraged and fed to go out and serve. Being strengthened, encouraged and fed enables us to serve within our church, where there is a need. We are given the power to accomplish much more than we can think or imagine. If we allow God to work within us, we can do things that we never thought we could do. I never thought I could do hospitality, but God has called me and empowered me to do this ministry. I could not do hospitality on my own, without His help and guidance. And I know that I will not be alone as I grow into this ministry, being rooted and grounded in Jesus. Ephesians 3:17 says it best, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.” As I begin my new role in serving as Director of Hospitality, I hope and pray that you will consider how being rooted and grounded in love you will serve here at First Lutheran.
As I move into a new ministry, I will ask each of you to try new ministry, something you may not have done before. You might want to try to be a Sunday School teacher or helper, try ushering or reading, try doing puppets, help with quilting, or knitting, helping with VBS, or being a small group guide. There are so many ways to serve here at First, just talk to any staff person and they can help you get connected with the right person for any ministry. With God, we can accomplish so much more than we can even think or imagine. Let’s let God use each of us to serve in ways that we can’t even image, knowing we are rooted and grounded in love.